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writing a novella

A quick note to let you know the novella is going excruciatingly and painfully awful. But as one of my readers said, you just have to be willing to be awful for awhile.  I’m good with that.

The good thing for me is that when I read over the last two days of draft work (my very first attempt at fiction) that it’s crystal clear where the problems are. At least I recognize crap. And, I have *some* idea of how to fix it. However, I’ve promised myself not to go into editing mode until the draft is complete.

This is where my work differs from my non-fiction writing. With non-fiction I edit more-or-less constantly. That way, by the time I’m done with the book or the article or whatever, it’s fairly well-polished. It’s very hard for me not to edit as I go with this novella – but I’m keeping hands-off.

By the way, the photo above is my image of what it looks like outside Little Creek, Arizona – the setting for my novella. It’s fall and the cottonwoods are turning.

P.S. I’m posting daily totals over on twitter with hashtag #nancywritesanovella

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I found the following in an old journal, written during a trip to Fort Robinson, Nebraska. It reminded me of why I love writing. Just a few words – but ones that captured my thoughts and feelings.

milky way in Nebraska

The birds are always singing. As I gaze out at the bluffs, I can imagine how this rolling pine hill country must have looked a century ago. Today, Elms line Officer’s Row, but in the time of Crazy Horse it was Cottonwoods that provided the cool shade. Now, the leaves seem to have a reflective surface, catching the look of the wind. Not far down the road is the Old Red Cloud Agency where I wanted to walk to see a sky that was blacker than black.

I lost myself in the streaming band of the Milky Way, starting far in the south, flowing through Sagittarius then flinging itself across the broad expanse of the sky as if a stargazer waved her hand and magic poured from her fingertips. Staying in place, perfectly, since the night she placed it there. Like the Indians who once walked this ground, I found myself creating my own constellations and legends – as would anyone who had access to this sky. This perfect sky on this perfect night.

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